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LIVING in nature full year-gear selection

Hello everyone i got big challenge for you-what tent,sleeping bag/pad,backpack,boots and possibly "winter" clothes would you recommend considering a couple would be LIVING and moving in wilderness full year. Price limit around 2k euro
Location-Czech republic,Slovakia,Hungary,Romania,Bulgary and if it is not that much for you possibly-Sweden,Finland
I am sorry for my english but it is not mine native language-thank you again
PS- Teton Sports Mammoth 0-Degree Sleeping Bag what do you think about that one?

You're not really giving us enough information.

When you say you're looking for equipment for a full year, I assume you are talking about hot summers as well as the kind of cold winter you would find in Finland.

Realistically, if you plan on living outdoors, you would need different equipment for each season. Is there some place you could store seasonal gear until it's needed, or do you need one item of each kind that will work in every kind of weather?

If you want just one, you will need to go for the coldest conditions. In warmer weather you can always take off a layer, but in colder weather you need something that will keep you warm. The tradeoff is weight. For example, if you want something that's good to -20°C it will weigh a lot more than something that only has to be warm enough at +20°C. (Also, please specify if we're talking about Fahrenheit or Celsius).

Thank you for quick reply and you are right i am sorry-no we do NOT have any place to store equipment because we are cutting all lines (selling everything including apartment) we are just going to travel on foot,"discovering" different lands :) I understand that this sounds strange and that it will be not easy at all but it is something we want to do...

So we do need different equipment for whole year, i think as far as clothing goes we need quality only for winter/autumn because in summer/spring anything no matter how cheap is usefull...and we are talking about celcius. And i am really looking for smart buy i do not need nor want top-tier equipment that would drain our budget...

For example this is picture taken in January-notice the gear (my backpack is almost empty here-yes) We managed to live outdoors for 2 months only with what you see and i can tell you this was cheap clothing and sleeping bag yet still provided everything one can need while living outdoors...Apart from the backpack that was quite waste of money back then when i bought it long time ago but i didnt wanted to spend money on the "final" one until we are ready to leave that is why i am asking here ;) thank you in advance for your replies
PS-looks like i cannot add image "in order to prevent spam" so if you have time check the picture in my profile

If this is something imposed upon you, then my condolences, that is a lot of outdoors.  But if this is only optional, something on your to-do list, your question suggests you are not nearly experienced enough to do this.

I second Peter's advice, equip for the cold.  I also second his inquiry for more info.  How are you getting about, day to day?  What kind of food are you expecting to eat?  Skin and foot care become bigger issues.  Kitchen hygiene must be comprehensive and effective, else inadequate practices will eventually cause illness.  Keeping dry will be a real serious issue!  Logistics will be a big deal as well.  (Notice my concerns are more about skills than equipment?)


Like i said we are going to travel on foot,we are having enough money to buy food everyday for 4-5years based on my calculations but i do not want that all the time-more like last option...

I think in America there are different laws but in eastern europe you can walk/sleep and gather food in all woods with few exceptions of course. You can hunt everywhere where is too much animals,yes you need permission for that in most cases but not in all+lot of people in these parts are still acting more like people than like robots guided by the rulebook with no "dodging space" meaning that it is not that much of problem to talk your way out of "illegal hunting" with gamekeeper.

By kitchen hygiene you mean equipment or just the food? If it is the equipment all we need is hot water and bit of cleaning,if you mean the food then i know what are you getting at (animal diseases) but most of that can be dealt with by harnessing/handling the meat like i was thaught by my relatives...most of the people do it like that here and i never heard that anybody had has problems because of that.

But i am not here to defend my plan i am here to ask for you help with EQUIPMENT...I just really could use some navigation from someone who has had experience with different kinds of brands,models etc.

Gamb said:

..i am not here to defend my plan i am here to ask for you help with EQUIPMENT...I just really could use some navigation from someone who has had experience with different kinds of brands,models etc.

It is my experience that equipment choices have much to do with intended uses, methodologies, and theatre of operation.  I am sorry you chafe at my questions, but I do not feel comfortable dispensing advice without feeling I have a grasp of what your knowledge and skills may be, and how you intend to accomplish certain aspects of living outdoors for extended periods. 

I will suggest, however, if you plan to be out for years, that value (durability, functionality and weight) should be tops on your decision criteria, regarding equipment selection.  Buying cheap will usually result in you wearing out equipment faster, and that will blow a budget just as fast as over priced purchases.  Keep in mind you are certain to wear out several issues of some equipment (tents, boots, water hauling/treatment stuff, tarps) spending that much time on the road.


Well i am sorry if it sounded like i chafe at your questions. I just get bit irritated when i feel someone tries to talk me out of it because it is happening all the time...People just dont understand that this is something i "have" to do..

And i am of course aware that everything will wear out in time but i just wanted some concrete suggestions from people who had experience with that particular thing (backpack,tent whatever help you can provide)

There is just so much to choose from i cant decide,because i have no experience with solid,expensive equipment. I dont want to buy something that would not stand to it advertisement. That is why i post my question here-to get tips on concrete brand and model if possible.

Of course i read reviews from customers but that could take months/years even until i find something that is really worth to me so i hoped you guys would give some tips and share the experience you had with specific things.

Respectfully, Gamb, I don't see whomeworry trying to talk you out of your plan, just raising some legitimate concerns and asking some important questions. And believe me, if there is ANY website where people will understand that this is something you just 'have' to do, this is it.

If you read the various threads on this forum, you will see that there are many items that will suit your needs in any one situation. We can suggest the perfect tent for a sunny summer day or a winter blizzard, but you're asking us to pick something that will work well in EVERY possible case.

As has already been discussed, we think you would have to be ready for the worst situation you might encounter, not the best one. The tradeoff there is that a tent, for example, suitable for a -40° blizzard, is much heavier than one that's good for summer use. A stove that's just going to be used for boiling an occasional cup of tea won't be as big or fancy as one that's meant for cooking a full-course dinner. And will you be able to re-stock your fuel?  A cheap, lightweight poncho might keep you dry in an occasional shower, but you'll still get wet if you have to sleep in it under a tree. And when you don't have a comfy home to go back to if you get sick, you'll have to carry extra equipment to make sure your food and water supply is safe and that you can survive a period of illness.

So another few questions have to be asked. How much weight are you willing to carry? How far are you going each day? What kind of elevation and trail conditions will you be expecting to find? How comfortable do you want to be?

And what are the absolute WORST conditions you might encounter during that year?

Actually, it does seem a bit like WHOME is at least challenging the prudence of the plan. I think sometimes we forget that not everyone is a gear haead who looks for top flight stuff to go on the occasional outting or big trip. Look around us and people are surviving in our streets with little to no gear. The culutural divide present here also reveals a bit of our ever present ethnocentrism as well. The guy wants to know a good bag, a good tent a good pack ansd a few other items. last a year and then they are dispensible. So, here is what I suggest:

Get a good sleeping bag as you are in and out of it all day long. Look for bargains at places like STEEPANDCHEAP.COM.

Boots are a tricky thing no matter the objective, for others to advise you on. I would say Gary would be helpful here.....long periods with little shelter and that is a lifestyle, not a weekend or month out of our normal comforts.

I would also say try to keep things light, yet not so much that it wears out before your done needing it. Lighter things are often more expensive: tents, packs and such. Something that would be useful is:

What degree of comfort are you looking for? Do you know generally how much weight you are going to try to carry on each of your backs? Do you know how far in a given day you may be trying to travel? Will you be staying always one night and moving or longer in places. Do get  at least a couple dry sacks to keep documents/identification papers dry and safe.

Gamb...looks like Amazon has that Mamoth 0 bag made by Teton. It gets good it a two person bag? Are you guys looking to use only onw bag for the both of you? It is heavy at over 16 pounds though! OUCH! Are each of you carrying a pack or sharing the poad one at a a time?

giftogab said:

Actually, it does seem a bit like WHOME is at least challenging the prudence of the plan... .. Look around us and people are surviving in our streets with little to no gear...

To the extent I am challenging anything it is very simple.  Do you know enough about what you are about to do such that you know which questions need answers before you embark, and do you know enough to determine what equipment options will best serve your intended applications?  The OP will get a lot of advice to the general questions he posed.  A lot of it will not apply to his circumstances.  Can he figure this out for himself?  Otherwise I am trying to get input on how the OP plans to go about their business.  Are they simply eating boiled noodles cooked on a stove or over a fire?  Do they intend to do real cooking or just boil and serve options?  Are they provisioning with perishable foods, going with durable dry foods, or eating off the land on a daily basis?  Kitchen hygiene IS a big deal on extended tours.  Are they prepared to spend days in near freezing drizzles?  Not just properly equipped for rain, but have a grasp of how to keep dry, or how to dry off if things get soaked?  In other words This is a big deal of a trip, do they have what it takes to stay out on the road for protracted periods without nominal issues derailing the trip?

While comparing this venture to that of street people makes it look less daunting, it is probably lost on most of us that street people learn at the side of others with more experience, whereas the OP does not have that opportunity.  Ergo why these questions are posted on the forum.  Furthermore most street people are not doing this for the experience.  It is fine to have an itch for something, but passion only goes so far; and I would suggest if one does not have answers for the various questions people have waiting for them, perhaps getting some more experience isn’t a bad idea.  Certainly the last thing I would want to do is sell off all my worldly possessions and head off on some adventure that ends prematurely because of something I could have avoided with better preparation.  And that includes assuring I have appropriate gear as well as the necessary skills for the undertaking.  I am not judging the merits of this trip, nor alluding the OP is not ready; His answers will be self evident of where he stands, and also provide better context, so i don't end up being another bloke with lots of good but irrelevant tips and equipment recommendations.


Perhaps you just don't see how it comes across then. Because it does come across as I indicated. Does it matter if he knows enough about what he is doing? He didn't ask for help with anything but the gear. Not commentary on his preparedness or his abilities.  While you say you are not alluing the OP is not redy, your original anwer DID just that:

Notice my concerns are more about skills than equipment?

The egocentric assumption here is that because you or I or anyone else here may posess more skill, it is our duty to evangelize him about those skills. In truth, he may posess plenty of sckills but no have access to a lot of brand testing and simply said that is what he wanted.. this is a non English speaker who asked a very sepcific question about gear. I certainly concede that some questions about the useage of the gear is merited given we want to make good reccomendations, but going beyond that to delve into the skill/preparedness aspect is non-responsive and, by his response to that, not desired by him. HE said what HE wants to do and it just may be different than what you THINK he should do or what you should do. Just sayin...sometimes just answering a persons question is enough.

Of all the people on this forum, Gary Palmer is perhaps the most qualified to address the question of 'living off the land' for months at a time. If he doesn't weigh in, perhaps the OP could send him a personal note.

As to gear, the reviews are posted, and the OP is really the only person who can decide what will work best for his needs. Without our complete understanding of how he wants his plan to play out, all we can really offer is general suggestions. I noticed that even the response to the one product named  by the OP included a couple of questions meant to find out whether it was really suited for what he needs.

And even that is complicated by the fact that, living as he does in central Europe, Gamb may not have access to the brands and styles we have here. I've noticed that even in Canada, the available product lines are quite different from the US.

So another few questions have to be asked. How much weight are you willing to carry? How far are you going each day? What kind of elevation and trail conditions will you be expecting to find? How comfortable do you want to be?

And what are the absolute WORST conditions you might encounter during that year?

Well for the first question-i used to walk around in woods(i think you guys call it "hiking") with backpack filled with stones that weighed around 45kg. Just so i get some muscles and used to that idea of having that kind of load on my back each day.
I cannot say specifically how far we are going each day-we are doing this to enjoy the places we see,not to race around the countries,but if your question means how far we are able to walk,we had no problem of walking around 25km a day. And note that it was not simple terrain-woods elevation and such.
And i think WORST condition would be snow blizzard up north. There were no harsh winters in eastern europe for few years now.

Also please note that we are not going to reach the north (Finland,Sweden) in winter but in summer AND in few years surely. So i would ask you to help with equipment adequate only for worst condition that could occur on average winter in eastern europe. Because by the time we get to the north we can buy equipment intended to the worst case of cold on the road (i have friend from north Poland so he can order what we will need to his house)

So far i laid my eyes on following equipment (lot of it thanks to maxx )-
Sleepingbag-TETON Sports Mammoth 0 degree Queen Size Flannel Lined-i think -17celcius is enough for winter in europe

Backpack-Kelty Red Cloud 5000 St-for me but i am not sure about my lady. She is relatively short (164cm-5.3foot)where as i am kind of big guy. (190cm-6.2foot)
I think she should have smaller backpack so it would not be such a big drain on her back-maybe some ladies can help here?
Pots-Olicamp Deluxe Mess Kit-i have nothing to say about this...

Cone-Caldera Cone System-although i never used something like this (we always cooked at fireplace) i am keen to try it

Water Filter-The Sawyer Squeeze Filter -maxx sugested also this but we never used it either. Rivers are relatively clean here and if we werent sure we boiled the water. Also i heards that water filters are just waste of money-some feedback please

Jacket for winter/rain-Hi Gear Trent Men's 3-in-1 Jacket-Looks like it could keep us warm enough in mid-raining

And of course some sleeping pad (i would like to try air-inflating) then waterproof overlayers for clothing and backpack

Tent-i only found too expensive (500usd) i know it sounds like small price to pay but note that in these parts there is lot of wildlife and most of them are not shying away from people anymore,so i dont want to have expensive tent for some random fox or lynx to scratch...

Thank you all for suggestions
PS-i put all the links using link function but i keep getting "in order to prevent spam..." I understand some people want to make ads for different companies but the rules could be that only if you add 3 or more things from one site in single post you could not use it-just my thought

I would go with peter and suggest you to send a message to Gary Palmer, he lives most of the time in the woods!  Also the caldera cone titanium wood burner would be the one, not the alcohol one, it lets you keep a controlled fire by burning wood, that way you wont have to carry fuel, but I suggest you to carry a small canister stove just in case you can't find adequate wood to burn.  The temperature rating of that sleeping bag seems about right, but may be a bit too heavy.  If you try air inflating pad make sure to keep repair kit for it, and keep it somewhere safe from holes! Foam pads might be fine also, just some people prefer one over the other, I use both depending on where I hike.  Tent will be hard to pick, the coating will deteriorate due to sun exposure, some tents this will happen faster than others, you have to come up with a budget on that one and perhaps find a nice well kept used one.

Check out this tent. It's a little on the heavy side but with a 210d floor and 75d fly it will take a lot of abuse. Plus it's not orange or blue so it will be less obvious.

It's one of the few four season tents with a 4'8" height that's not $1000+. You need a little room in a tent your going to live in for a year in my opinion.

I am female and love my Deuter pack. Some modles are adjustable for torso length. Also, there are modles that have a 10l bump for times when the load might be bigger.

Deuter ACT Zero 45 + 15 SL Pack - Women's may be just the ticket for light loads for trekking and then bossting up the volume when needed. There are bigger ones too if 45 is too little capacity.

Where were you planning on buying all this gear, Gamb?

A phone call to Kelty tells me they have no European distributor, so I have to wonder how you were planning on getting your hands on the Red Cloud. Terra Nova in the UK used to handle their packs but they don't any more.

The only dealers I can find for Teton are Amazon, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sportsmans' Warehouse, Cabela's and Wholesale Sports, all of which are North American. As with the Kelty pack, I would think that the cost of shipping from the US to Central Europe (including shipping, duties and taxes) would be a lot higher than buying something of equivalent quality from a European manufacturer. And since the Mammoth is a bag for car-campers, not hikers, finding something locally shouldn't be too hard.

While Sawyer has a British dealer, you said that the  'Rivers are relatively clean here' and that 'water filters are just a waste of money' - that leads me to believe that your hiking experience is pretty limited.

I may be wrong, but are we dealing with a neophyte who's trying to plan some kind of fantasy trip, or are we being trolled?

"People constantly consume contaminated food and water with high concentrations of toxins such as the metals in the streams and small rivers of northern Bohemia"
Quoted from "The Czech Republic: Environmental Problems in Eastern Europe"

So like i said-people do this here and i never heard of anyone having health problems because of that
If you guys have to use water filter whenever you want to drink in nature then i am sorry.
But again-I heard that water filters are just waste of money so thats why i asked

I also said i have my eye on these things not that i am going to order it tommorow.
"Rough estimates: Anywhere between $15-30 for a small package. Standard postcard is 99¢ postage. Bigger packages your looking at $30-50 easily.
United States Postal service was cheapest last I checked. Unless prices changed somehow, it still is." Quoted from question-How much does shipping from america to europe cost...


Many years ago I spent most of four years on the road/woods and much of that time was in the northern US and southern Canada. What I carried on my back was all I had. I drank water as I found it and probably built up a tolerance to certain flora. 

We seem to forget that the early explorers/trappers in North America didn't run to their nearest EMS as the seasons changed. They had all their clothes with them; food and shelter they picked up on the way. Most of the time during the summer, a tent is unnecessary in Gamb's clime. A simple lean-to or tarp is enough. Also, in real wooded backcountry, i.e., no trails, cooking over a small fire is perfectly acceptable and the wood is ready to hand. 

Personally, if I were doing what Gamb plans, I would buy two well-made thin wool shirts - not worrying about the brand, but the quality of material and stitching. A mesh-knit undershirt to provide an insulating air barrier in summer and winter; bottoms as well. Good ragg wool socks, three pairs minimum. Really good FGL boots with stitched soles and leather lining (easy to find in Europe). A very comfortable internal frame pack made for durability of Cordura Nylon 1000dn, durability not weight being the deciding factor. Something you can throw on the ground and sit on without worry. A good tarp/poncho carried by one partner, the groundsheet (also a tarp/poncho) carried by the other, would provide at least five months shelter. At least it worked for hundreds of thousands of men in WWII. When it gets too cold you have a friend mail your winter tent to a local post office, general delivery, and then send it back to him as the weather warms up again. 


You don't need brand name, only quality. Sometimes you can find someone to make you something sturdy, or make it yourself. Think wool. Think durability, not fashion. Wool pants are good as well. When they wear out, too many patches, buy new pants.

Living is not difficult. Living in comfort... that can be. However, sometimes sleeping with only one rock sticking in you rather than four is sublime. :)


Good luck.


Congratulations on your decision.

Buy some decent quality equipment with an eye toward durability.  I spent a 30 year career mostly in the outdoors, and had a few equipment failures that become really akward a long way from a road.  I would sacrifice  and be willing to carry more weight for insurance that the stuff will hold up.  You can get by with one sleeping bag.  In really warm weather use a blanket.  In really cold weather add blankets to your sleeping bag.

I never like the equipment for sale in Europe much and greatly prefer the American and Canadian made stuff.  Even if you have to pay more postage.


I use as light as I can gear for year round camping. I currently live about 275 days a year outdoors either backpacking or bicycle touring.

Tent: Mtn Hardwear Meridean 2...4 lb

Sleeping bag: REI Solarpod...3 lbs

Ensolite pad...1 lb

Stove: Pocket Rocket, with MSR 1 quart pot and spork.... 1-2 lb

Pack: Lowe Pro...Not sure the model...3 lb

Camelbak 3 liter bladder...4 oz empty,6 lbs full

2 thermos style 12 oz bottles... 1-2 lbs


ppine mentioned blankets. I heartily concur. I carried a good quality (Hudson Bay) wool blanket along with my three-season synthetic mummy bag. That was plenty warm enough for winter in a small winter tent in Canada. Add a hood to the blanket and you have a warm poncho as well. 

I think you would regret using a 0 degree bag with a flannel lining. The lining  could get wet or smelly and be difficult to dry. The zero degrees is much too warm for most of the year. Better, IMO, to have separate mummy sleeping bags - one with right zip, one with left zip, so you can zip them together; and a bag liner(s) of silk or cotton - easy to remove, clean, and dry.

I would strongly advise against any down insulation, whether in sleeping bag or jacket. Once the down is wet, it takes days to naturally dry. Most synthetic insulation - and wool - can be wrung out and will still provide an insulating barrier while damp.

Just some thoughts.

Sorry guys, but I just don't buy it. A few points:

1. Gamd says the water is safe to drink because he's never known anyone who's gotten sick from it, then immediately posts a direct contradiction that "...water with high concentrations of toxins such as the metals in the streams and small rivers of northern Bohemia". That's kind of like saying radium is safe to handle, unless your name happens to be Marie Curie.

2. Anyone who deals with international freight knows that in addition to simple postage fees, duties also have to be paid. For our company to send a parcel via UPS from the US to Canada costs an extra $50.00. Air freight will run from $50.00 to $250.00 more for even light items. We tried getting some parts shipped from a branch in Finland - the freight alone more than tripled the cost of the items - we bought a whole new unit instead of repairing it. Then there are tariffs, countervailing tariffs and various customs regulations. 'Cheap' postal service to Europe usually mean 'slow boat' if available. Expect 1-2 month delivery.

3. Most of the products being mentioned by all of you are American, but there are many older, and just as reputable, companies in Europe that are producing quality gear. The Alps have been around a long time, and the European hiking tradition is much older than the North American one. If you had a choice between a mid-range Kelty backpack, or a top-of-the-line local brand for the same price or less, which would you choose?

4. Gamb freely admits that he's not actually planning on buying anything right away. If that's the case, it looks like this while thread is more of a 'fantasy' adventure than anything with any real prospects of getting done.

Best wishes to Gamb for having dreams - we all need them - but I think that whomeworry's concerns about skill, experience and credibility deserve some more serious consideration.

You manipulate my quote...somehow you forgot to add that "People constantly consume contaminated food and water with high concentrations of toxins such as the metals in the streams and small rivers of northern Bohemia"

You got point with european brands i was aware of that after first few answers here,but i didnt wanted to close this thread because i was curious what other tips i will recieve.

Again i said i am not going to order it tommorow not never and if you have problems with the amount of time it takes to sell everything two people own then that makes three of us.

And how does one get prepared for this kind of trip other than spending time in woods? Please illuminate me on this one-do you in America have some kind of "high school of outdooring"? Because from what i gathered you have schools for absolutely EVERYTHING. What average person here can learn with natural trial and error attitude you seems to have years of preparing but not actually doing. Like the saying and practice here goes-"Do you know how to teach someone swim? Throw him in the lake".

I am sorry if i offended any Americans here but this is just the way i/we (lot of europeans) think of you...
Again thank you all for great tips especially "overmywaders"

I know you only asked for advice on equipment, Gamb, but I think we'd be remiss if we weren't concerned about your safety too. With apologies to GoG, particularly in this case I think equipment choice and safety are interconnected.

Can I suggest you do a few overnighters under different conditions, including rain and snow, then maybe a few week-long backpacking trips, year-round? Next, think about the greater logistical problems you'll face getting re-supplied over a whole year, and when changing equipment to suit the seasons.

Funny that you mention it,just yesterday we came back from woods after 4 days of nothing but rain and storms. As if the constant rain wasnt enough we couldnt find suitable place to spend night so we had to spend around 3 hours to find place that would be safe enough in case thunderbolt strikes in. While searching for the place during rain and almost total darkness we "ran" (must have been 20-30m its hard to tell during heavy raining) into wildhog with piglets! So i took my dog (Cane corso by the way) and fiance turning backwards while still keeping eye on those wildhogs. We walked about another half hour to make sure we are not in "their teritory" anymore and set up "camp" with nothing but sleepingbags and tarpaulin.
So we managed (even for very small amount of time) to survive in summer storm,biggest threat actually being wildlife :)
Like i said we spent about 2 months during winter months out there,without tent i might add and we managed also. Granted-there was no snow but that is not something i can make happen.

That brings me to another question-did you ever run into wildlife without firearms? We carry two knives and actual sword (yes i am little weird with this but i cant help my love for medieval weaponry) also i was thinking about boar spear for our travel,without handle because that is relatively easy to make from wood...

And thank you for your concern

Medieval weaponry?

Stranger and stranger...

Sorry for not liking what everyone else does...Maybe you can lend me your book on "what to like and dislike to be considered normal" :)


For what it’s worth, I like swords too ( I don’t backpack with them---too heavy). I usually don’t go anywhere where wildlife is a big concern (well…. expect for pack stealing black bears); I don’t bring firearms but not for any reason other than the fact that (for me, based on the places I go and my situation) it’s wasted effort and dead weight in my pack.

It seems you have received some good advice regarding principles of equipment choice: I would second those suggesting the emphasis of durability in all choices (of course with consideration of season where possible).

Most of the forum members here tend to err on the side of caution in regards to advice and recommendations for outdoor pursuits; I think it’s for good reasons.

Most of us that spend a lot of time in the “backcountry” (that word can have variation in meaning depending on where you are at), have witnessed many people charging off unprepared in terms of knowledge and materiel; those people put themselves and others in bad situations (sometimes resulting in loss of life). So the consequence can be quite serious.

So all that being said I would like to encourage you to prepare to the best of your ability but to also strike while the iron is hot.

If it’s in your heart to embark on this grand adventure and you can arrange your affairs to do so, accepting all necessary sacrifices and consequences, then go while you can! Life is precious, go live it!


(but try not to lose it)

If I had a choice of bringing a firearm or this guy and his sword to defend me against anything, I would take him and his awesome haircut every time.

In all seriousness Gamb, don't listen to the haters here, keep practicing your  skills. You seem to be doing the right thing asking for help and going on constant trips around your area to see how you will fare against mother nature, which makes me think you are doing this seriously and cautiously. The people I am most concerned about are the ones who come here, ask for help, are barraged with criticism and no helpful information at all, then give up asking for help and try to do everything on their own, so if anything we should help you achieve your goal as safely as possible rather than hope that we can make you feel bad enough that you give up your dreams.

Like we have said, try to take durable, lightweight, preferably multiple use and flexible gear(in terms of it will work fine in most kinds of environment), forget those 7.4kg/16.5lbs sleeping bags, they will only hold you back from having a good time and walking without breaking your back, there are several posts here on how much your gear should weight even without food and water, and you should know that no matter how durable your gear is, it wont last unless you take good care of it, I have some pretty damn fragile gear that has not even come close to failing me because I am very careful with my stuff, some others aren't, but still take durable gear but don't think because the sales guy said it's bomb proof that it will withstand abuse. Read how to care for your gear and how to patch it, I keep a little bit of waterproof duct tape and seam sealing glue to fix stuff.

Don't buy something because someone told you to buy it, whenever I give any advice of gear to someone I try to explain why that piece of gear works for me, if my gear(or anyone's gear) was perfect then everyone here would have it, but if you look at what ppl use, everyone has different setups, it's what works for them. Use suggestions for comparison purposes and get what you think is best and what's within your budget, just make sure to read reviews on the item you are going to buy and don't go just by what the manufacturer says about it. Check out backpacking stores if there is any in your town in Czech Republic, see if you can try the item before you buy.

Be sure to know where you are, and how you can get to a town if shit hits the fan and you or your wife gets sick or injured.  Carry a compass, carry a map of Europe, if possible carry a GPS or some other method of positioning, I would start the first months being no more than 5 days walk from a busy road (ideally much less), get a book on navigation and how to read weather signs, make your own first aid kit and know how to use it, make sure it includes: gloves, anti diarrhea pills, fever medication and antibiotics, make sure all that stuff is labeled and has expiration dates, add your band aids and all the good stuff to prepare you against whatever is going on in Europe and you should be set, keep it all in a zip lock or water proof bag. 

Keep a whistle compass combo, a space blanket, some fishline and waterproof fire starting equipment in your pocket(add whatever else you think you need), just in case you lose your backpack crossing a river or something, you have the basics to find your partner and survive getting to safety.

This forum is obviously full of gearheads and Gamb's questions have opened the flood gates.  It should also be equally obvious that spending time outdoors and backpacking in particular are very personal expressions of philosophy.   The guy should continue his forays near home,  and read some classic books on the subject.   Then he should just go out there and figure out what suits him.

ppine said:

This forum is obviously full of gearheads

Seems somewhat obvious being it is an "outdoor gear community." :p

and Gamb's questions have opened the flood gates.

He did inquire and there are over 14,000 members here all of which may have different opinions on gear and what works for them. 

  It should also be equally obvious that spending time outdoors and backpacking in particular are very personal expressions of philosophy.

It also equates to a substantial level of experience which may very well be the deciding factor of whether or not one makes it out of the backcountry in one piece, in multiple pieces, or even breathing for that matter. 

   The guy should continue his forays near home,  and read some classic books on the subject.   Then he should just go out there and figure out what suits him.

 +1 on the books but literature only goes so far and is relative to what worked for the author in the conditions that he/she was subjected too. Most books that I have ever read have one author which reflects one individuals experiences and what worked for that one individual. 

Having multiple perspectives/opinions/options are never a bad thing. 

If you have one person that purchases a tent for instance and they say it is a great tent would you go buy that tent based on one individuals experiences or would you rather receive input from multiple sources?

This whole read a book and apply it to one's own practices makes me kinda chuckle to an extent. 

If everyone followed this logic I think SAR would be very, very busy. 

I could hear it now... "but I read it in a book." Books equal knowledge, not experience. This is one of the big problems I see in this day and age with computers and technology. 

Relying on that handy dandy new fangled GPS to save one's tail comes to mind. Then something goes wrong with the unit and they possess absolutely 0 map reading/compass skills. 

People can become "experts" in anything if they just do the right Google search. 

I could go on and on about this but I am not in the field of beating on a subject for a long period of time and I would do nothing more than probably bore you. ;)

Hi Gamb - welcome to Trailspace! I'd love to see some pictures of your epic adventure!

A central issue you're going to encounter is that most gear and equipment is meant for recreational use, not sustained use.  My tent is great for a few weekends a year, but I doubt the nylon would endure 5 months of continuous UV exposure. My coke-can stove works well for a month, but it would likely degrade after 5 months of continuous use. In other words, you're going to be looking for very unconventional equipment for your journey - a mixture of low cost, durability and light weight that is very hard to find.  In addition to this challenge, I'd like to echo whome's wise advice about skills. Have a safe and meaningful experience!


Please don't get defensive.  My main point is that there are many right ways to select and use equipment.  Gamb will spend more days on his trip in the outdoors than most people do in a life time.

There is a substantial difference between being defensive and straight forward. I am an indivividual that doesn't sugar coat things. I am very straight forward and for the most part blunt.

No point in beating around the bush trying to make a point.

I have many things that I would like to say in regards to this thread but I feel some would take them as being offensive. So with that being said I am going to demur.

Since you asked me not to get "defensive" I will ask in return that you do not be "presumptuous" as I (as well as others) have seen you be on more than one occasion. :)


 I am not taking your bait.


 I am not taking your bait.


I wasn't trying to bait you so there was no bait to be taken. I was initially making a point. I am not sure where you ygot that I was being defensive from my initial response.

On the other thread I started about being rough on gear you presumed that my kit was UL but if ya would have taken the time to look at my avatar photo you would realize that I am a packmule being I have an 85L pack in the photo.

Or you could have taken the time to look through some of my photos and noticed that my gear varies and a good bit of it isn't UL.

Heck, my boots weigh 2lbs each.

This is the whole presumptuous thing I am trying to point out to you. If you go back and look on that thread you may see that others are trying to point that out as well.

I have no ill will towards you. I don't even know you but may I suggest that you just take a little time and think about the responses you are getting?

You might find that they are not only warranted but also justified.

Happy hiking.

Have a good time on your adventure.

 When I was 15 I hitched all over the USA till I was 17. I'm now 56. Those were some wonderful times in my life. I only had a daypack and got out alive. And I'm sure you will to. The best advice I can give you is to be careful. If you feel something is wrong, get out of there! There is no shame in running if need be. Be aware of your gut feelings, they will save you.  

Just bought my first Hammock to add to my sleeping houses,

the new set-up with the new hammock,

- Hennessy Hammock Ultralite Backpacker Asym Zip Hammock

and using in it,

- Therm-A-Rest Neo Air  the original lime color and rectangular.  The rectangular (Regular size) works real well and keeps the Hammock from curling around at my feet and head.  Also adds a nice thermal insulating barrier that is super light and compressible when packing. 


Mountain Hardwear Lamina +35 Sleeping Bag


Black Diamond Orbit Lantern


Counter Assault Bear Deterrent Spray - 10.2 oz.


Coghlan's Snaplight


Petzl Tactikka XP , with slding difuser lens being Red


Gerber Big Rock Serrated Knife


- Bison Designs Carbon Fiber Carabiner

Nite Ize Plastic S-Biner Size 4

  both used to hold knife and sheath along the center line


Big Agnes Lynx Pass 3 Footprint on the ground underneath to provide a super-light and compressible,  gear pad without dirt and ground debris getting on/in gear


MSR Cyclone Tent Stakes - 4 Pack


September 30, 2020
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